There’s a movement afoot in range country in the West. Subdivisions that were once the province of major cities are now part of rural town life, too. As homebuyers seek more land, they want to develop ground that has been left native until now. Recently, the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust announced that it had conserved another parcel of land in the Laramie Mountain Range. The 707-acre Hidden Canyon Ranch near Douglas, Wyo., has been conserved, and it is near three other conserved properties found in the range on which WSGLT holds easements.
In announcing the latest conservation easement, Eric Schacht, conservation director, WSGLT, said the importance of conserving the Wyoming agricultural land base, wide open spaces and wildlife habitat can’t be overstated. “We thank Hidden Canyon Ranch for their choice to conserve a piece of Wyoming’s heritage for future generations,” he said.
Settled in the late 1800s, the ranch has been used as a cattle and hay operation since its inception. The property is primarily used for grazing land, and has historically been a major fall gathering point for the area. The ranch’s original loading chute still stands on the property, a sign to its history in the cattle business.
The ranch’s terrain, which is mountainous and has a lot of rock outcroppings, creates a variety of habitats for wildlife in the area. The ranch is rich with wildlife and has mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn habitat, and migration corridors.
Reid Lance Rosenthal, part-owner of the ranch, and author, noted that the ranch’s many square surface miles now protect Fort Letterman Road and U.S. Forest Service viewscapes — all of the land and water seen from a point or series of points — and groundwater resources in the LaBonte Creek watershed. “It plays a key role in our summer pasture regimen, and is winter habitat to a variety of ungulate, carnivorous and raptor species,” he said.
Learn more about the work of WSGLT by visiting wsgalt.org.